(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Wednesday, another local health care practitioner is sounding the alarm on the rise in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Northwest Missouri.
“There’s a surge right now and we’re having difficulty keeping up,” said Sarah Sedlacek, Northwest Health Family Nurse Practitioner.
Sedlacek has been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic since day one, but she said it's never been this bad until now.
“Nearly everyone I’m testing is coming back positive and that wasn't the case before,” said Sedlacek.
This Northwest Health practitioner is another added to the growing list of health professionals issuing warnings to the public that COVID-19 is in our community and it's getting worse, fast.
“Our health care system is in crisis,” said Sedlacek.
In November, Buchanan County nearing 6,000 cases and 80 deaths since the start of the health crisis. Back in March, Buchanan County had 10 cases, zero deaths.
Sedlacek said positive cases are not only more frequent now, they're more, "Sicker. I’ve had some patients that are a lot sicker than they were in the beginning back in March.”
She said while those with underlying health conditions are suffering more from the virus, COVID-19 can hurt anyone.
“It’s really random and that’s really scary because you just don’t know. Am I going to be the one that has the serious effect? That’s really scary,” said Sedlacek.
Working the frontline of the pandemic is truly daily and exhausting battles for these healthcare workers.
“COVID is on my brain all day, everyday. Anxiety producing. I worry about my patients. I worry about my family," said Sedlacek, "It’s stressful because we see our patients getting sick and feeling helpless and not being able to help them and going to the hospital. The hospital is feeling particularly overwhelmed.”
Thanksgiving is tomorrow.
Health care professionals are offering a final plea to stay home and stay safe because at the end of the day, there's only so many of them to go around.
“We do not want it to be a situation where our medical professionals have to decide who gets treatment and who doesn’t,” said Sedlacek.
Northwest Health said testing labs are getting overwhelmed by the volume of COVID-19 tests. Northwest Health patients wait on average 5-7 days now for test results.